I'm still trying to catch up after the holidays. Even though it's only been a week since New Year hit the calendar it seems like it was eons ago and I should be back to a normal routine. It's not happening yet, so I'm moving to the couch with a warm cup of cider.
If, like me, you are looking for an excuse to curl up on the couch with a good book and a warm drink, or maybe you are home with the flu, here's a simple recipe to get started.
You may have an open bottle of red wine left from the holiday which you can use for this warm drink. Don't worry if you don't have wine, you can use apple cider, apple juice or grape juice.
Making a hot cider or mulled wine is simple. Place everything in a 3 or 4 quart pot and simmer slowly until all the flavors are well blended.
You can adapt this recipe for your family or a special evening with friends.
Spiced Apple Cider
- 1 qt. apple cider OR 3-4 cups red wine (you can the rest of a red wine from a bottle that is half empty or full, however you look at it)
- 1/4 cup sugar OR 3 TBLS. agave nectar
- 1-2 oranges (peel the orange to add tothe pot and also add the juice to pot)
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- Add all the ingredients into the pot. Heat to boiling and then reduce heat to simmer for approximately 10 minutes.
- When ready to serve strain the hot cider to remove the peels and spices. Serve Hot.
There are dozens, or maybe more variations of mulled wine and hot cider. Some recipes call for adding brandy. One important tip is that you can use an open bottle of red wine, and you definitely shouldn't use an expensive bottle of wine.
Eliminate the wine and brandy for family friendly versions. You can adjust the amounts of juice and sugar accordingly to your preferences.
Serve with cookies and/or muffins.